Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2013 Dec;65(15):1899-920. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2013.07.006. Epub 2013 Jul 13.

Endowing carbon nanotubes with biological and biomedical properties by chemical modifications.

Author information

CNRS, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Laboratoire d'Immunopathologie et Chimie Thérapeutique, 67000 Strasbourg, France.


The scope of nanotechnology is gaining importance in biology and medicine. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have emerged as a promising tool due to their unique properties, high specific surface area, and capacity to cross biological barriers. These properties offer a variety of opportunities for applications in nanomedicine, such as diagnosis, disease treatment, imaging, and tissue engineering. Nevertheless, pristine CNTs are insoluble in water and in most organic solvents; thereby functionalization of their surface is necessary to increase biocompatibility. Derivatization of CNTs also gives the possibility to conjugate different biological and bioactive molecules including drugs, proteins, and targeting ligands. This review focuses on the chemical modifications of CNTs that have been developed to impart specific properties for biological and medical purposes. Biomolecules can be covalently grafted or non-covalently adsorbed on the nanotube surface. In addition, the inner core of CNTs can be exploited to encapsulate drugs, nanoparticles, or radioactive elements.


Biomedicine; Carbon nanotubes; Diagnostic; Functionalization; Imaging; Therapy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center